From Private Label to ‘Captive Brand’

By Stephanie Murg Comment

the captive.jpgAnd speaking of the synergistic relationship of W Hotels and Bliss, this week’s Brandweek rebrands private labels as “captive brands.”

Carrying no evidence of the store’s affiliation, these brands, manufactured by a third party and sold exclusively at the chains (hence “captive”), let the retailer command a price similar to brands produced by consumer packaged goods companies like P&G.

Brandweek focuses on the spike in such brands in the “over-SKUed” beauty category, which already drowns consumers in products and novel niches (and to think just a couple of years ago, the world lacked for self-tanning shimmer lotion). Walgreen’s, captor of the bioInfusion line of haircare products, continues the totalitarian metaphors; writer Elaine Wong notes that the drugstore “has created an internal ‘brand police’ to regularly evaluate its product portfolio.” Say what? “They protect the standard and quality for our brands so we know that we are competing side-by-side with national brands,” Walgreen’s rep Tiffani Bruce told Brandweek. “We have limited shelf space so we try our best to pinpoint which brands are resonating well with customers and what needs are being met.” We just hope that they are issued snappy brand police uniforms and official badges.